Opinion on Integrating ESG Thinking Across the Business Strategy: A Necessary Step for a Sustainable Future

Opinion on Integrating ESG Thinking Across the Business Strategy: A Necessary Step for a Sustainable Future

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns are crucial issues that businesses must address to maintain their long-term sustainability. They are no longer merely trendy buzzwords in the corporate world. Investors, consumers, and other stakeholders are becoming more and more aware of the significance of ESG factors and are pressing businesses to be more open and accountable. As a result, for businesses that wish to succeed in the present business environment, integrating ESG thinking across the corporate plan has become essential.

ESG is a group of non-financial factors that are used to judge how well a company is doing and how sustainable it is. Environmental factors look at how a company’s activities affect the natural environment. This includes things like carbon emissions, waste handling, and the use of upward resources. Social factors encompass the manner in which a company engages with its workforce, clientele, vendors, and local populace, in addition to challenges such as diversity, equity, and inclusion. Governance factors pertain to the internal management systems of a company, encompassing the board of directors, executive compensation, and the transparency of financial reporting.

ESG vs Company Goals:

Integrating ESG thinking into the business strategy means putting ESG factors into every part of a company’s operations, from making decisions to evaluating success. It takes a change in mindset from seeing ESG factors as separate from the business strategy to seeing their importance as key drivers of long-term value creation. It is imperative for companies to prioritize Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues, ensure their alignment with overall business objectives, and maintain transparent communication with stakeholders regarding their advancements in this regard.

What is the key to sustainable success?

As we progress from compliance to efficiency to innovation and growth, the pattern implies that market demand is significantly influenced by climate change, diversity, customer access to and affordability of products, and so on. There are various reasons why organizations should incorporate ESG thinking into their business strategy. First and foremost, it is critical for long-term sustainability. Companies that fail to handle ESG issues risk damaging their reputation, facing legal and regulatory hurdles, and experiencing financial instability. This can lead to a loss of trust among stakeholders, affecting the company’s bottom line.

Source: Public Sentiment and the Price of Corporate Sustainability

Second, incorporating ESG considerations can increase innovation and productivity. By prioritizing ESG concerns, businesses can uncover new development opportunities and establish more sustainable and effective business models. Organizations have the potential to diminish their carbon emissions by engaging in practices such as allocating resources towards renewable energy or integrating sustainable procedures within their supply chain operations. Companies have the potential to mitigate their ecological footprint and achieve long-term financial savings.

Thirdly, integrating ESG principles can help businesses attract and retain top talent. In today’s workforce, employees prioritize organizations that share their values and demonstrate a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Companies that prioritize ESG factors can create a workplace that is more inclusive and diverse, cultivate a culture of innovation and collaboration, and recruit and retain top talent.

Lastly, ESG thinking can assist businesses in strengthening their relationships with their stakeholders. By promoting transparency and accountability, businesses can inspire confidence in investors, customers, suppliers, and the community. This can lead to increased brand loyalty, an improved reputation, and, ultimately, long-term value creation.

Barriers to Sustainable Success:

The bulk of sustainability projects prioritize environmental and social goals. But, as deadlines approach, how do businesses go from well-intentioned goals to actual accomplishment?

To be successful, the ‘gap’ between intention (objective) and achievement (real impact) must be closed. Integrating ESG issues into company planning, however, is not without challenges. One of the most significant barriers is the lack of defined measurements and reporting systems for ESG problems.

Source: Author’s Own

Despite the existence of several frameworks, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the reporting of ESG factors exhibits inconsistencies and challenges in terms of comparability. The aforementioned circumstance poses a challenge for enterprises in establishing performance benchmarks and for stakeholders in conducting comparative analysis of companies’ ESG performance.

Another problem is the requirement for cultural transformation inside organizations. Integrating ESG thinking necessitates a mental shift from considering ESG variables as distinct from business strategy to recognizing their significance as important drivers of long-term value development. This necessitates a culture shift within businesses, which can be difficult to achieve.

The Cost of Overlooking ESG: Why Businesses Must Act Now

Despite these obstacles, businesses cannot afford to overlook ESG issues. Because of the increased demand for openness and accountability from stakeholders such as investors, regulators, and consumers, businesses must adopt a proactive approach to ESG concerns. This demands senior leadership commitment, a clear understanding of the business case for ESG, and a willingness to invest in the resources and tools required to integrate ESG thinking across the business plan.

Adopting a sustainable framework, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is one approach to incorporating ESG thinking into the business strategy. The SDGs provide a comprehensive and widely recognized framework for sustainable development that addresses a variety of ESG concerns such as climate action, social and economic development, and responsible consumption and production. Companies may ensure that they are tackling a wide variety of ESG concerns and contributing to the attainment of global sustainability goals by aligning their business strategy with the SDGs.

In conclusion, businesses that want to ensure their long-term sustainability and generate value for all stakeholders must incorporate ESG thinking into the whole company plan. To integrate ESG issues into every facet of a company’s operations, top leadership must make a mental change and the organization must be ready to invest in the appropriate tools and procedures. Even though integrating ESG thinking presents obstacles, businesses in today’s market cannot afford to disregard these pressing problems. Companies can build a more sustainable, inventive, and inclusive future for everyone by giving ESG issues priority.

Glanbia Performance Nutrition Investigation Report: SDG 12 Viewpoint

Glanbia Performance Nutrition Investigation Report: SDG 12 Viewpoint

  • Overview
    Sustainability reporting has evolved into an important component for businesses and organisations to demonstrate their commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges. Sustainability reporting is the process of assessing, revealing, and communicating a business’s environmental and social effect. It has grown in significance as customers, investors, and other stakeholders demand greater openness and responsibility from businesses. A number of issues contribute to the requirement for sustainability reporting. 
    Firstly, there is growing demand for corporations to show they are serious about sustainability. As consumers become more aware of the environmental and social impacts of their purchases, they show a marked preference for patronising sustainable firms (PR Newswire, 2014). Investors are pushing for more ESG-related information in order to assess the long-term viability of their holdings. (Weber et al., 2014)  added , businesses can use sustainability reporting as a tool to better understand where they can improve their sustainable practises. Businesses may improve their sustainability practises and have a smaller impact on the world by tracking and reporting on their social and environmental impacts. Greenhouse gas mitigation strategies may include boosting energy efficiency, cutting waste, and improving social and labour laws.
    As a third benefit, sustainability reporting can help build trust and credibility among key constituencies. Businesses may show their dedication to sustainability and win over customers, investors, and other stakeholders by being forthright about their efforts and results in the sustainability realm. Such positive outcomes include a stronger social licence to operate, stronger brand loyalty, and happier customers. Lastly, agreeing with (Kücükgül et al., 2022; Tate et al., 2010) from a regulatory standpoint, sustainability reporting is gaining significance. Governments across the globe are proposing new legislation and policies aimed at encouraging sustainability and combating climate change. The failure to comply with these standards can result in monetary fines and reputational harm.
    A number of reporting systems and standards have been established to satisfy the increasing need for sustainability reporting. The most generally recognised framework for sustainability reporting is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards (GRI – Standards, n.d.), which give a comprehensive set of rules for assessing and reporting a company’s sustainability performance. In addition, there are the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) (“SASB – How Companies Can Use SASB – ESG Reporting,” n.d.) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)(Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures | TCFD), n.d.).
    Various firms utilise different reporting formats and metrics, making it difficult for stakeholders to compare and evaluate the sustainability performance of other enterprises. As per the findings of (Nigri & Baldo, 2018), another difficulty is the expense and resources necessary to execute sustainability reporting. As stated by (Momchilov, 2022), assessing and reporting on sustainability performance can be a complicated and time-consuming process that may include substantial investments in data collecting, reporting tools, and staff resources. This is especially problematic for smaller firms and organisations with limited resources.
    According to (Bradford et al., 2017; Godha & Jain, 2015), sustainability reporting is gaining importance for firms and organisations seeking to demonstrate their commitment to environmental, social, and governance challenges. It can help firms identify areas for improvement, establish confidence and trust with stakeholders, and comply with regulatory obligations. While there are some obstacles connected with sustainability reporting, the benefits far exceed the expenses, and firms that refuse to address sustainability issues risk being left behind in an increasingly sustainability-focused society.
  • Target Selection and Associated Indicator Target 12.6:
    Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.
    Indicator 12.6.1:
    Number of companies publishing sustainability reports (Goal 12 | Department of Economic and Social Affairs, n.d.).
    According to (Westerholz & Höhler, 2022), corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been of paramount importance to the dairy industry. While extensive research has been undertaken on the CSR practises of investor-owned dairy companies, the role of co-ops in promoting sustainability has been largely overlooked. Yet, given that co-operatives are member-based organisations, it is possible that these dairies lay a greater emphasis on sustainability than their investor-owned counterparts.
    To fill this gap in the literature, (Westerholz & Höhler, 2022) examined the CSR reports and websites of thirteen German dairies, differentiating between co-operative and investor-owned firms. The study adjusted current criteria for evaluating the quality and substance of sustainability reporting in the dairy industry, and our findings suggest that cooperative dairies report on sustainability issues in a more comprehensive and superior manner. The results shed insight on the organisational form-specific inequalities in dairy industry sustainability reporting. Cooperative dairies are more likely to encourage sustainability and provide full reports on their efforts. By highlighting areas in which dairy companies may become more sustainable, the analysis can help encourage more responsible and sustainable practises in the dairy industry.
    An essential tool, the Sustainability Report compares and contrasts the performance of different farming methods in terms of their economic, environmental, and social impacts. To ensure that the report’s methodology continues to reflect the internationally accepted standard for calculating the included metrics, it must be updated throughout time (Buckley & Donnellan, 2021).  As the world becomes increasingly aware of the importance of sustainable agriculture, the report’s value will only continue to grow. In addition, the report can help identify areas where improvements can be made in farming practices to reduce negative impacts on the environment, society, and the economy. By doing so, stakeholders can have confidence in the report’s findings and use them to make informed decisions. As such, the sustainability report will continue to play a vital role in shaping the future of agriculture by encouraging sustainable farming practices that benefit both the environment and society.
  • Importance and Need for Sustainability Reporting
    In recent years, there has been an increase in the importance of reporting on the sustainability of corporations; nevertheless, there are issues regarding the effectiveness and validity of such reporting in actually improving sustainability practises. As per (Paula-Carmen & Dorin-Paul, 2019) , these statements should be viewed with care until they can be independently tested, notwithstanding the fact that the Irish dairy industry has made significant progress in reducing carbon emissions and strengthening animal welfare standards.
    In addition, although sustainability reporting has the potential to provide information to stakeholders, there are concerns surrounding the veracity and openness of this reporting. When it comes to comparing and verifying the sustainability claims made by companies, the absence of standardised metrics and independent auditing can be problematic. Even though sustainability reporting can be helpful in identifying areas for development, it is vital to question whether or not organisations are actually committed to making changes, or whether or not they are simply making empty promises to sustainability in order to improve their reputation (Malay, 2021).
    Because while sustainability reporting has the potential to be an efficient tool for promoting environmentally responsible practises, it should not be seen as a silver bullet for solving environmental, social, and governance problems. In order to effectively drive significant change in the Irish dairy sector and beyond, sustainability reporting requires independent verification, established measurements, and a sincere commitment to sustainability.
  • Glanbia Performance Nutrition : Optimum Nutrition Brand
    Glanbia is a global nutrition company whose goal is to provide better nutrition at every stage of life. With giving importance to working together every day for the good of business, people, and the world. There work is a response to the nutritional needs of people today and their desire to live a more balanced life by making healthy choices.
    The Glanbia Group comprises three divisions: Glanbia Performance Nutrition, Glanbia Nutritional’s, and Joint Ventures like Mike Durkin, president and chief executive of Leprino Foods said: “Having successfully partnered with Glanbia since 2000, we are proud of the high-quality business that we have helped build (Glanbia’s Optimum Nutrition Becomes Company’s First Billion Dollar Brand, n.d.)
    Glanbia Performance Nutrition products such as Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Powder (Protein Page, n.d.) would be the investigation of choice for the target and indicator chosen, since the papers and reports retrieved have provided evidence that this corporation adheres to sustainability goals and has expended in business methods. Glanbia’s model relates to the Health Sector, which is a growing nutrition market, and the company has taken efforts to be a resilient supply chain with capital resources, financial control, quality management, and risk management. Consumers increasingly incorporate sustainability into their purchasing decisions, including a demand for more sustainable packaging styles and a heightened understanding of the environmental impact of their consumption. As per the company reports, Glanbia will guarantee that sustainability remains a central tenet in their business strategy (Sustainability Reporting, n.d.).
    3.1 Whey Protein Product
    With news reports stating Glanbia’s Optimum Nutrition becomes company’s first billion dollar brand which is a Kilkenny-based food group announces record revenue of €5.6 billion for last year on back of strong sales of its performance nutrition products (Glanbia’s Optimum Nutrition Becomes Company’s First Billion Dollar Brand, n.d.). The selection of whey protein products is based on the dairy industry’s massive production of whey as a by- or co-product, which has caused significant environmental issues due to its high organic matter concentration. For the past several decades, researchers have examined the potential for more environmentally and economically effective whey utilisation, especially to convert undesired end products into valuable raw materials (Zandona et al., 2021).
    Functional foods and beverages are one of the most ambitious and inventive food categories, and they continue to pique the curiosity of many consumers since they provide health advantages beyond basic nutrition. Whey and its components are becoming more popular as functional ingredients in dietary and health products, whilst bioactive proteins are becoming more popular in the pharmaceutical and nutritional industries(Papademas & Kotsaki, 2020). Whey products are becoming more popular due to their high levels of lactose, proteins, and minerals. Whey and whey residues have a very high biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) due to their nutrient-rich composition (Dairy – Paving the Whey – Transforming Dairy Waste – Teagasc | Agriculture and Food Development Authority, n.d.). 
    3.2 Whey Products Sustainability Findings 
    According to the findings of (Buchanan et al., 2023.; Zandona et al., 2021) , the dairy sector’s sustainability reporting has a large ecological imprint on the earth’s ecosystems, and public pressure compels the dairy business to reconsider their whey management. Europe is the total dairy processing leader, and thus the largest whey producer. The cheese business produces over 115 million tonnes of whey each year, with 47% of it being disposed of straight in drains, generating major environmental contamination problems . Whey is widely regarded as a major polluting by-product due to its high BOD and COD levels (Barukčić et al., 2019). The contaminating propensity of whey has prompted countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union to enact severe environmental protection legislation against incorrect whey disposal and in favour of its long-term utilisation. Due to newly created markets for whey proteins and regulatory limitations based on the EU Landfill Regulation 1999/31/EC, landfill dumping of cheese whey has also been prohibited in Europe. These stringent regulations spurred the dairy industry to investigate alternative approaches and prospects for dairy wastewater treatment (Saxton & McDougal, 2021).
    The sustainability reporting of whey products is done through guided materiality assessments on where to prioritise, they have developed a robust and ambitious approach to  ESG strategy. This strategy sets out targets and actions focused on Climate and Environment, People, Communities and Performance and Value Creation. They advance with intent and contribute to the delivery of global goals, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”) and the Paris Agreement. Supported by expert external advisors and aligned to the SDGs, they have taken a rigorous approach to measuring impacts through data, baselining, and risk assessments, setting a clear strategy, and aligning to science-based targets or other relevant external benchmarks. In doing so they are committed to keeping our stakeholders informed with Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”) aligned reporting, Carbon Disclosure Project(“CDP”) disclosures, as well as our annual Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (“TCFD”) and  other Non-Financial Reporting. (Cadogan, 2021; Sustainability Reporting, n.d.; The Hard Yards on the Path to Sustainability, 2023).
  • Discussion and Conclusion
    The goal of choosing the sustainability reporting target was to see how organisations, particularly large and multinational corporations, adopted sustainable practises and integrated sustainability information into their reporting cycle. Glanbia was chosen as the company because it is in the health sector, which is a growing market, and the company has worked hard to build a resilient supply chain with capital resources, financial control, quality management, and risk management. Upon researching the firm’s profile and key investments, the company has heavily invested in nutritional products, with Whey-based protein products being one of the most nutrient-dense. Environmental issues have been alleviated by investigating the development of Whey and transforming it into healthy products. According to (Zandona et al., 2021), whey is disposed of in big manufacturing plants, governments have legislated whey disposal, which has spurred the dairy sector to investigate alternative ways and prospects for dairy waste management. Because of its high pollutant capacity, whey reuse and recycling has become a major scientific problem in order to reduce dairy waste and satisfy the Agenda 2030 sustainable development goals (SDG). 


  • Barukčić, I., Jakopović, K. L., & Božanić, R. (2019). 8—Whey and Buttermilk—Neglected Sources of Valuable Beverages. In A. M. Grumezescu & A. M. Holban (Eds.), Natural Beverages (pp. 209–242). Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-816689-5.00008-0
  • Bradford, M., Earp, J. B., & Williams, P. F. (2017). Understanding sustainability for socially responsible investing and reporting. Journal of Capital Markets Studies, 1(1), 10–35. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCMS-10-2017-005
  • Buchanan, D., Martindale, W., Romeih, E., & Hebishy, E. (n.d.). Recent advances in whey processing and valorisation: Technological and environmental perspectives. International Journal of Dairy Technology, n/a(n/a). https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0307.12935
  • Buckley, C., & Donnellan, T. (2021). Teagasc National Farm Survey 2021 Sustainability Report.
  • Cadogan, S. (2021, July 31). Glanbia’s “living proof” strategy to aim for Net Zero Carbon by 2050. Irish Examiner. https://www.proquest.com/docview/2556897403/citation/99CD647DB62B4D7APQ/1
  • Dairy—Paving the whey—Transforming dairy waste—Teagasc | Agriculture and Food Development Authority. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://www.teagasc.ie/news–events/daily/dairy/paving-the-whey—transforming-dairy-waste.php
  • Glanbia’s Optimum Nutrition becomes company’s first billion dollar brand. (n.d.). The Irish Times. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from https://www.irishtimes.com/business/farming-food/2023/03/01/glanbia-reports-record-56bn-revenue-on-back-of-strong-us-sales/
  • Goal 12 | Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal12
  • Godha, A., & Jain, P. (2015). Sustainability Reporting Trend in Indian Companies as per GRI Framework: A Comparative Study. South Asian Journal of Business and Management Cases, 4(1), 62–73. https://doi.org/10.1177/2277977915574040
  • GRI – Standards. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/
  • Kücükgül, E., Cerin, P., & Liu, Y. (2022). Enhancing the value of corporate sustainability: An approach for aligning multiple SDGs guides on reporting. Journal of Cleaner Production, 333, 130005. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.130005
  • Malay, O. E. (2021). Improving government and business coordination through the use of consistent SDGs indicators. A comparative analysis of national (Belgian) and business (pharma and retail) sustainability indicators. Ecological Economics, 184, 106991. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2021.106991
  • Momchilov, G. (2022). Sustainability reporting by companies: Reasons and financial benefits. VUZF Review, 7(1), 55–68. https://doi.org/10.38188/2534-9228.22.1.06
  • Nigri, G., & Baldo, M. D. (2018). Sustainability Reporting and Performance Measurement Systems: How do Small- and Medium-Sized Benefit Corporations Manage Integration? Sustainability, 10(12), 4499. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124499
  • Papademas, P., & Kotsaki, P. (2020). Technological Utilization of Whey towards Sustainable Exploitation.
  • Paula-Carmen, R., & Dorin-Paul, B. (2019). SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING PROCESS: BENEFITS, LIMITS AND ACHIEVMENTS. Annals of the University of Oradea: Economic Science, 28(2), 60–70.
  • PR Newswire. (2014). Capital allocations increasingly influenced by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting: OH-BrownFlynn-CSR. PR Newswire US. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,shib&db=bwh&AN=201411211352PR.NEWS.USPR.MN73044&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=s1131971
  • Protein Page. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://www.optimumnutrition.com/en-us/protein
  • SASB – How Companies Can Use SASB – ESG Reporting. (n.d.). SASB. Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://www.sasb.org/company-use/
  • Saxton, R., & McDougal, O. M. (2021). Whey Protein Powder Analysis by Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy. Foods, 10(5), Article 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10051033
  • Sustainability Reporting. (n.d.). Glanbia. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.glanbia.com/sustainability/sustainability-reporting
  • Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures | TCFD). (n.d.). Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://www.fsb-tcfd.org/
  • Tate, W. L., Ellram, L. M., & Kirchoff, J. F. (2010). Corporate Social Responsibility Reports: A Thematic Analysis Related to Supply Chain Management. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 46(1), 19–44. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-493X.2009.03184.x
  • The hard yards on the path to sustainability. (2023, January 17). Glanbia. https://www.glanbia.com/our-stories/hard-yards-path-sustainability
  • Weber, O., Diaz, M., & Schwegler, R. (2014). Corporate Social Responsibility of the Financial Sector – Strengths, Weaknesses, and the Impact on Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development, 22(5), 321–335. https://doi.org/10.1002/sd.1543
  • Westerholz, H. K., & Höhler, J. (2022). Corporate social responsibility reporting in the food industry—Comparison of co-operatives and investor-owned dairies. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 29(1), 211–222. https://doi.org/10.1002/csr.2197
  • Zandona, E., Blažić, M., & Režek Jambrak, A. (2021). Whey Utilization: Sustainable Uses and Environmental Approach. Food Technology and Biotechnology, 59(2), 147–161. https://doi.org/10.17113/ftb.
Reflections On Sustainability Literacy

Reflections On Sustainability Literacy

As the pace of change accelerates in a variety of sectors, including technology, culture, and the natural environment. Organizations, industry, and the government are all growing more linked. One of the major issues highlighted by the UN is the lack of knowledge about sustainability. We were given the task of attempting the Sustainability Literacy Test (SULITEST), which is used to broaden sustainable knowledge, skills, and mindset. Before taking the test, I was familiar with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) goals that we discussed in the logistics and SCM Fundamentals module, and we recognized how supply chain management plays a crucial role in accomplishing these goals.

This is the first study of its kind to provide a comprehensive explanation of sustainable humanity and ecosystems, global and local human-constructed systems, transitioning to sustainability, and the role of individuals in systemic and individual change. Some of the questions were crucially significant, and awareness of them was necessary to comprehend the UN’s objectives. I scored 93 (77% of expected answers) on the CORE International section and 64 (80% of expected answers) on the SDG 12: Circular Economy (UN Environment) section of the examination. I reviewed my test and took notes on CSR, which is a growing trend as per (Slack et al., 2022), UNESCO’s role in the education sector (Annelin & Boström, 2022), the impact of climate change, etc. done to attain UN goals.

It presented me with new perspectives for not only analysing the current problem in supply chain sectors but also resolving it from a sustainable standpoint. As an active member of an NGO (back in India) and TUD’s Sustainability Society, I have the opportunity to introduce this test to other students and professionals, which would give them a broad perspective of sustainability and why it is important to have it included in their courses and work environment. I am looking forward to this module to learn and implement how firms may gradually introduce sustainable supply chain management into their current situations to identify important sustainability impacts, analyse risks, and define action areas.


  • Annelin, A., & Boström, G.-O. (2022). An assessment of key sustainability competencies: A review of scales and propositions for validation. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 24(9), 53–69.https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-05-2022-0166
  • Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A., & Burgess, N. (2022). Operations management (Tenth edition). Pearson.

Toad Run – The mushroom supply chain

Toad Run – The mushroom supply chain

When purchasing mushrooms from retail stores, we pondered whether we would purchase the same product again if it were on sale. As we moved, retail distributor promotions made Toad & Fungi struggle to meet demand. Upstream supply chains were uninformed. As per market viability, this affected product freshness, lead times, and inventory turnaround. To reduce lead time, we tried combining a compost plant with mushroom farms, but it didn’t specify where the compost came from.

In the supply chain, I felt that focusing on matching supply and demand while maintaining a buffer and inventory storage was limited because the quality of the supply (mushroom) products would deteriorate. In this case, horizontal integration or horizontal collaboration between toad and fungi and other mushroom processors is desired. If they are a part of larger corporations, they can increase sales. When considering hybrid supply chain strategies, consider that lean works best in predictable and stable environments, whereas agile strategies work best in volatile and responsive markets. We were unfamiliar with material and information decoupling points. It took time to decide to maximize company profits.

Quality and cost constraints were two major factors influencing the postponement of the packaging or labeling process further downstream. Methods such as vacuum packaging to keep the product fresh and prevent cross-contamination are expensive. We can make agreements with other mushroom processors to outsource these specific needs when internal production is low, and orders exceed our capacity. We gain the advantage of bringing a level of operations that will provide stability throughout the year. If I need more, I’ll get it from somewhere else, so coordination in packaging as well as strategic inventory placement, as in situation 2, are appropriate in this scenario.

Toad & Fungi relies on future predictions to guide decisions about retail store product assortments and in-store promotions, as demand is primarily driven by promotional activities. Lesson learned: distributors and manufacturers need to work together to learn about tactical supply chain movements to meet retail customer demand. Building a resilient supply chain is becoming increasingly important as the supply chain becomes more susceptible to disruptions in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world.



NECANKO, INC., by Professor Carol Prahinski

NECANKO, INC., by Professor Carol Prahinski

We were given a chocolate factory case study to practice supply chain mapping as Halloween was just around the corner. Necanko, Inc. is a major chocolate producer headquartered in the United States. They made chocolates all year, with demand fluctuating. Karen Mazzoli, a buyer-scheduler at Necanko, examined sales demand and was unsure about the predictability of the forecast, why sales were increasing, and what actions she would take.

I began by noting the various processes and parties involved in delivering the chocolates to the end consumer. As we made the supply chain map with common conventions, I had experience with how to build a technical network architecture, and the example of supply chain mapping we looked at in class helped me see the different types of relationships and flows of resources (information, materials, and money) between supply chain actors in a way that was easy to understand. We created product flow but were unable to link it with information and financial flow since there was insufficient data. Concerns were required. It was challenging for me to map it with the product flow.

 After mapping, I considered several reasons for the unexpected sales increase. First, the lack of upstream sales data suggests they relied on corporate and warehouse weekly sales and inventory reports. Karen can find out what candy brokers promised retailers and whether prices have changed or promotions have been implemented, which causes the bullwhip effect. Talking to the marketing department and brokers to determine if the demand change is real or fake. These relationships provide demand and capacity management data. Second, this is a company that has been changing its production schedule and laying off many employees. So, what effect will this increase in anticipated sales have? It could cause an overreaction to unexpected or unplanned changes in demand and prices.

This case study inspired me to consider various viewpoints from group discussions and helped me understand with supply chain mapping strategies. Discovering that the root causes of the bullwhip effect are miscommunication and a lack of coordination among supply chain participants. Karen was flooded with information from the case study, some of which may not even be pertinent. As a result, information filtering is crucial, and it is important to have access to real-time demand data.